Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

Why negotiating your salary could leave you at a loss

gender-pay-gap.jpg

We all know that women in the UK get paid less than men.

In fact, the gender pay gap currently stands at 19.2 per cent. This means that women, on average, get paid 80p for every £1 earned by men.

So when it comes to negotiating our salary for a role, are we doing ourselves (and the female workforce in general) a disservice if we don't negotiate?

We're encouraged to 'lean in' to know our worth and fight for it, but a new study suggests that while often it pays to negotiate your wage, women who don't may have a good reason for doing so.

In fact, the survey found that asking for more as a default can actually harm your potential earnings.

The study by Harvard Business Review had two test groups, which included both genders. 

One group was allowed to choose whether to negotiate for a higher wage following an offer and the other was forced to negotiate. The negotiations between 'worker' and 'firm' took place over a chat platform to ensure the workers' genders were anonymous.

The findings showed that women are 11% less likely to avoid negotiations of a higher wage than men if they had the choice, even though it almost always worked in the candidates' favour to negotiate. 

However, it's clear choices to negotiate were carefully considered ones - the female candidates knew their worth and were unlikely to accept a wage below that.

Career ladder

When given the choice, the female 'workers' negotiated 88 per cent of the time if offered a wage that didn't match their skill set and experience. Though they only negotiated 49 per cent of the time when an initial offer equaled or exceeded their market value. 

When there was no increase from the initial offer though, it was down to women refusing to negotiate 34 per cent of the time.

So did they make the right decision when they chose not to lean in? According to the results from the forced negotiation test: yes.

"When women were forced to negotiate every time, women’s overall wages actually decreased," the publication concludes. 

"Final wages exceeded the initial wage offer at exactly the same rate as when they had a choice to avoid negotiations – 49% of the time — but the rate by which final wages fell short of the initial wage offer increased from 9 to 33 per cent."

So, the 34 per cent weren't acquiescing to a wage they didn't feel was adequate, but pointedly - it seems like they had an intuition that the offer was the right one in order to avoid financial loss. A skill the study shows was not echoed by the male candidates.

Sometimes it pays to lean out.

Knowing when to ask for more and following your instincts is an important factor in securing the right wage.

Related

pay-rise.jpg

How to ask for a pay rise as women 'work for free' until end of year

woman on phone at desk.jpg

Five ways to rebrand and rejuvenate your career in your current role

writing a CV and job application.jpg

These are the 10 worst phrases to use on your CV

iStock_000075686479_Large.jpg

The unexpected but simple way you could relieve everyday anxiety

sebbahero3.jpg

Watch the incredible surprise party thrown for the 'world's best boss'

rexfeatures_3957790a.jpg

Seventy percent of British women verbally harassed in public

150519_TVC_MadMen_PeggyOffice.jpg.CROP.promo-mediumlarge.jpg

How to nail a promotion at work without asking for it

spotlight.jpg

Brits work the equivalent of nine weeks' unpaid overtime every year

ThinkstockPhotos-483062488.jpg

10 things you hate about your job and how to solve them

Comments

More

At last - Britain's first gravy bar is coming

Finally, a proper way to enjoy chips

by Anna Pollitt
27 Mar 2017

“When are you going to get hitched?” How to tackle intrusive questions

Useful responses for the most annoying of questions

27 Mar 2017

Oh, happy day: a live Sister Act show is coming to London

Featuring a 35-piece gospel choir and full band

by Moya Crockett
27 Mar 2017

Westworld creators answer one of the big questions about Maeve

And star Thandie Newton addresses the show’s violence toward women

by Amy Swales
27 Mar 2017

Women link hands on Westminster Bridge to honour victims

Many wore blue as a symbol of hope and peace

by Anna Pollitt
27 Mar 2017

New report: endometriosis symptoms often “dismissed” by doctors

42% of women said they were “not treated with dignity and respect” by doctors

by Amy Swales
27 Mar 2017

Airline defends decision to ban girls from flight for wearing leggings

The incident was “sexist and sexualised young girls”, according to an observer.

by Moya Crockett
27 Mar 2017

Deliveroo is giving away free ice cream to make your Monday better

That's your lunch break sorted.

by Hayley Spencer
27 Mar 2017

Muslim witness of Westminster attack responds to Islamophobic trolls

A picture of the woman walking on Westminster Bridge has been shared widely

by Nicola Colyer
24 Mar 2017

Bright, beautiful and bold Easter cake inspiration

Stylish bake ideas to nick and claim as your own

by Amy Swales
24 Mar 2017